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1980s Bond: Behind the Design

The return of the Six Decades of 007 Collection sees us travel back to the 1980s to celebrate the incredible James Bond films of this iconic decade. Featuring the likes of For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill, the 1980s was another successful decade for the Bond franchise.

Under the stewardship of both Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton, it saw the British secret agent not only remain relevant amongst the heavy hitters of Hollywood but help reinvigorate the 007 brand in its third decade on the silver screen.


To commemorate this memorable era of Bond, we once again approached award-winning design agency Bison Bison to help facilitate the numismatic artwork, with Matt Dent and Christian Davies tasked with creating a worthy coin design befitting this iconic decade of 007.

For inspiration, the pair turned to one of the most iconic Bond films of the 1980s, Octopussy, to help provide the spark for their design. Specifically, they looked to the memorable opening scene of the movie, during which Bond boards a mini jet to evade the gunfire of Latin American soldiers in one of the most memorable pre-title sequences of the decade.

The result sees the Bond Films of the 1980s UK Coin feature the legendary Bede BD-5J ‘Acrostar’ Microjet, a plane that Bond memorably flies through a crowded air hangar at breakneck speed to escape his captors. Focusing on this jet as the primary subject, the 1980s coin design follows the precedent set by the previous two coins in the collection, using Bond’s unique vehicular gadgets as the focal point of the design. Naturally, 007 himself is also included flying the plane, seated in the cockpit.

The plane itself, whilst iconic within the 007 cinematic universe, is also famous in its own right within the aviation community as one of the smallest and most compact jet airplanes in the world, making it the perfect vehicle to drive this particular design. The brainchild of engineer Jim Bede, the BD-5 measures a miniature 12 feet long and has a wingspan of just 13 feet. Despite its diminutive size, the real-life, pocket-sized plane is capable of reaching a top speed of 320 miles per hour. To put that into context, the fastest car currently on the market is the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut, which is capable of reaching 310 miles per hour – 10 miles per hour slower than this miniature Acrostar jet introduced in 1981. The cutting-edge of 1980s technology, this vehicle is more than deserving of its place on the pedestal of 007 gadgets.

In addition to this prominent piece of 007 gadgetry, the design also features the names of all the 1980s Bond films gracing the background, with Octopussy appearing prominently as a tip of the cap to the inspiration behind the primary design. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous 007 logo, synonymous with the franchise, also takes pride of place on the coin, appearing below the microjet and stylised just as it appeared during the decade of the 1980s. Completing this entry, the design is bordered by the trademark gun barrel which appears during the famous opening sequences that have preceded every Bond movie since its inception.

With an iconic piece of machinery at the centre of the design, the names of each 1980s Bond film gracing the background, and the unmistakable 007 logo appearing just as it did in the 1980s, the Bond Films of the 1980s UK coin more than lives up to its billing as a numismatic tribute to this iconic era of Bond. Join us as we celebrate this classic period of cinema by securing your own 1980s 007 coin today.

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